Wednesday, 15 September 2010


This is bad. This is really bad. The Wenlock is actually closing.

So last week, my friend told me about this - design house Established & Sons are "redecorating" the Wenlock for the duration of the London Design Festival:

Alarmed by the prospect, I went in today, an hour ago, and said "I've heard a rumour you're being redecorated - what's that about?". The lady behind the bar said "it's not being redecorated. It's being demolished". She didn't know about this Established and Sons redecoration. She just said "it's been sold to developers, and they're knocking it down". WHAT? When? "I don't know".

There were rumours flying around at the start of the summer that the Wenlock was for sale. It can't, we thought. It just can't. It's the best pub in London. We listened for announcements, and there weren't any. July and August passed and it remained open. Someone asked on the Wenlock Yahoo group, and was reassured - it's not closing down, they've dissolved the company, they're changing the way they run the business, don't panic.

I burst into tears when I found out today. I'm sorry to the barmaid: I was the girl in the pink lipstick who walked out in shock.

The redecoration project appears to start on Monday. Today is Wednesday. At the time of writing, the pub is still there.

What can you do? Well, you can go. Go today. Ask them about it. Drink as much as you can. Stay as late as you can. Cry. Start an occupation. Tell people about this blog.

I know it hurts, and I know it's easier to think "well, there's nothing I can do now, it's been sold". But this isn't just another sad story of a beloved local closing down. This is the Wenlock. It's the frickin' Wenlock! This is the best pub in the best city in the world, and it deserves better than to go without a fight. 

At least let it know that someone loved it.

Who's with me?


  1. This is really shocking - surely, this should have gone through some development process?

    Are North London CAMRA aware? They recently helped save the Duke of Hamilton in Hampstead...

  2. Has been one of my favourite pubs for years. A great loss to London if this pub goes.

  3. Been there few times loved it, not to everyone's taste but it was always on my hit like when I was in London. Sad to see it go

  4. Thanks so much for your support, everyone!

    I've spoken to Camra head office who have been in fairly regular contact with the north London branch and with the landlords but they said the timings were vague. I'm emailing them now with everything we know.

  5. Go to the council and ask to view the planning application. It may take some sifting through to find the relevent one (at least it does at my district council where they just dump a box with a stack of applications on a table for me to look at - and photocopy anythig I like), but then you'll be able to see exactly what has been applied for and what has been approved or denied. Good luck (I don't live in the area, but have good friends who love the place)

  6. Thank God for that. The worst pub since Peter the Pig Farmer opened a real slurry counter in in the ditch in 1742. You can smell the urine from outside.. and that's not the toilets, just the carpets. It means I won't have to go there ever again. My more beardy and Guardian reader mates will be quite upset though granted. Ah well. Rejoice!

  7. Hi Tessa , the Hackneyist here , I found this on a developers site about the area which I'm guessing must include the Wenlock

    A2Dominion buys central London site for £80m new homes scheme - 04/02/2010 News
    An £80 million scheme to build more than 300 new homes on a canal-side site in central London has been announced by the A2Dominion Group. The award-winning housing provider has bought the two acre site in Wharf Road, on the borders of sought-after Hackney and Islington. The development will stand alongside the impressive tree-lined Wenlock canal basin, off the Regents Canal, and will support regeneration in the area.

    I've also posted it as a follow up on the Hackneyist...... there are lots of very discruntled and confused folks out there who think its Established and Sons fault !

  8. So is it A2Dominion or Londonewcastle doing it!?

    Or is this a different development? Wharf Road is other side of Wenlock Basin...

  9. Great post. I have been searching for this exact info for a while now. I will bookmark it in my list.